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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 August 2005, 22:18 GMT 23:18 UK
House of Ladies

The political journalist Julia Langdon has reported on events upstairs and downstairs in both Houses of the Palace of Westminster for 35 years.

Julia Langdon
Julia Langdon

She has watched women parliamentarians with admiration - though without envy - throughout that time.

For a Sunday Supplement series broadcast in August 2005 she discusses the changes she's seen brought about by the introduction of female working peers into the House of Lords - from trailblazers and mould-breakers to those who have moved House from the Commons.


It's been called the Mother of Parliament, but for most of its history it has been a male-only club. Women were only allowed to take seats in the Commons after the First World War. The Lords remained barred to women until the late 1950s.

In the first part of the House of Ladies, Julia Langdon describes how female peers changed the Upper Chamber with the help of some of the very first women to get through its doors.

Mould breakers

In part two, she looks at the lives and lively times of three women who have, in their different ways, been mould-breakers and changed the way they do business at the posh end of the Palace of Westminster.

Moving House

In the final part, Julia Langdon looks at the political lives of three women life peers who have had careers in the Commons as well as the Lords.

House of Ladies
Part One

House of Ladies
Part Two

House of Ladies
Part Three

Sunday Supplements in 2005
28 Jul 05 |  The Westminster Hour
Sunday Supplements in 2004
22 Dec 04 |  The Westminster Hour
Sunday Supplements in 2003
23 Mar 05 |  The Westminster Hour


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